Friday, November 8, 2013

Just Between Us by J.H. Trumble


Just Between Us by J.H. Trumble

Review by Lauren

copy for review; all opinions are my own

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Official Summary: Seventeen-year-old Luke falls for new guy Curtis, who is secretly HIV positive, but when the two become involved, Curtis has trouble distancing himself from Luke in order to protect him from infection.

Review: I can now officially say that J.H. Trumble is one of my favorite authors. She has released three novels so far, and I have read and loved each one. She tackles some tough topics but does so in a realistic, inspiring way. Just Between Us is Luke's story, who fans have already seen in Trumble's first novel, Don't Let Me Go. It was great to finally see what happened to him!

While Curtis does have HIV, I wouldn't say that is the main focus of the book. It's also about learning to be brave, taking care of yourself, and not being afraid to give into love. Luke is desperate to be with Curtis and he doesn't understand why he keeps being pushed away. When the secret is revealed, it adds a whole new layer to their relationship. Again, Trumble does a wonderful job at creating realistic scenarios and characters. You don't always agree with the decisions that Luke and Curtis make, but you can't help but root for them to finally work things out. Happiness is all they want, when you come down to it, and everyone deserves that.

The two boys have different families, but I liked that they both played a part. Luke's dad is uneasy about him being gay, but his mom and little brother are supportive. As for Curtis, his sister and dad are always there for him...but when he learns about his disease, he doesn't want to tell them for fear of letting them down. I think it's fantastic when books focus on those around the couple, because these people affect how the characters grow and change throughout the book. It's not always realistic for couples to be living in a bubble, all on their own, and I love that all of Trumble's books indicate the world outside the relationship.

Just Between Us is a passionate and wonderful read. I do recommend!

Now, I want to comment on the fact that Trumble's novels are all connected in ways...some of the characters in each book go to the same school or happen to know one another. Therefore, I would suggest reading the books in the following order, instead of the order they were released.

Don't Let Me Go - but skip the epilogue for now!

Just Between Us - you get Luke's story, who you met in Don't Let Me Go.

Don't Let Me Go epilogue- now you can read this and learn what happened to Nate/Adam and Luke/Curtis

Where You Are: you meet Robert in Luke's story, Just Between Us, and it takes place before the events in Where You are...so now you can continue Robert's story!

17 comments:

Erika Sorocco said...

This sounds like such a heavy read - but interesting!!

xx

Andrea @The Bookish Babes said...

I've heard such great things about Trumble. This looks like such an excellent story!

bermudaonion said...

I'm so glad there are books about issues out there for kids. This one sounds excellent.

Karen said...

I think I read one of these books based on your recommendation. I'll have to go back and see what one so I can catch up.

Sam (Realm of Fiction) said...

I've been hearing good things about this author's books! Although I'm not immediately drawn to the premise here, I am curious about the characters. Thanks for the helpful review!

Rachel said...

Sounds like this is a true to life and emotional read. Glad you enjoyed this series, Lauren. Wonderful review. :)

Candace said...

I have her books on my WL, I really want to read them! Thanks for the heads up on which we should start with, I'll have to make sure I have the right one first.

Melanie said...

This sounds like a brilliant story about not being afraid to show the world who you are and everything. Thanks for putting it under my radar!

Lovely review, Lauren! <33

Alise (Readers In Wonderland) said...

This one sounds really good, and I love that is talks about serious issues like HIV. I am in an HIV class right now and find the disease interesting so I may check this one out.

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

I've never read a LGBT novel but this sounds like a good place to start!

Aylee said...

Aha, I love companion novels that tell different character arcs in each novel. It speaks volumes of the author that you think so highly of them, Lauren! I should look into these if I am in the mood for contemporary. I think I would like to read them back-to-back, in the order you suggested, if I do!

Tanja - Tanychy said...

I have never heard of this one but it seem to me it deals with really though issues in really nice way. It also sounds really emotional. I'm so happy you enjoyed this one. Great review, Mag :)

Jasprit said...

I'm glad to see that you're having such a great reading experience with Trumble's books. I love it when a lot of realistic issues are explored in a meaningful way. Thanks for putting another book on my radar and for a great review!

Liviania said...

I really want to read Trumble's books! It's interesting that the HIV isn't the focus - too bad there aren't more books like that.

L-Diggitty said...

Oooh!!! Now this one I'm interested in. My sister was telling me about "Don't Let Me Go" a few weeks ago.

Lauren Elizabeth said...

I've never read one of Trumble's books, but this sounds fantastic! I will definitely pick up Don't Let Me go and give that one a try (but skip the epilogue). Wonderful review!

Julia Swift Andrew Landis said...

I'm glad I caught your review, I'll definitely add Trumble to my reading list. Have you read David Levithan's new book, Two Boys Kissing? It's really special.

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